The Toyota Yaris, or the exception of "made in France" in the automobile – Le Monde

While PSA and Renault are relocating their production of small city cars, the Japanese remains in France with its plant in Onnaing (North). The Toyoto Yaris 4 is presented at the Salon of Made in France this weekend in Paris.

By Eric Béziat Posted today at 10h52, updated at 13h32

Time to Reading 4 min.

The Toyota Yaris or the exception of quotmade in Francequot - The Toyota Yaris, or the exception of "made in France" in the automobile - Le Monde
The Yaris assembly line at Toyota's Onnaing (North) plant in May 2017. Benoit Tessier / REUTERS

With its new curve, touch screens and two-tone livery, it should not go unnoticed this weekend Porte de Versailles, Paris. The new Toyota Yaris, the fourth version of the name, will be available to the public a few weeks after its revelation in Amsterdam on October 16. But the walkabout of the small city will not happen in the context of a traditional car appointment … No, it will be at the Fair made in France, which is held at the Paris Exhibition Center from 8 to 11 November.

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Because the Yaris 4 succeeds a feat for a small car sold new less than 20 000 euros (the specialists speak of the segment B), that to obstinate to be manufactured in France, precisely on the site of Onnaing (North), in the agglomeration of Valenciennes, which became, in the early 2000s, a model production center for Europe and North America.

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A second model

From its Japanese headquarters, the automotive giant decided in 2017 to continue the Yaris adventure in France. Toyota is investing 300 million euros in Onnaing to produce the city on an industrial architecture radically different from the previous one, involving heavy work on the lines. Entry into industrial production is expected in mid-2020. For the moment, a hundred or so test and demonstration vehicles have been manufactured at the Valenciennes factory. And, icing on the cake, a second model produced on the same technical platform could leave the chains of Valenciennes. Discussions are under way between Toyota's management and that of the French factory.

Half a thousand hires accompany this industrial and financial effort

Half a thousand hires accompany this industrial and financial effort since the workforce of the plant will increase from 4,000 to 4,500 employees (including temporary workers and fixed-term contracts). "We have already made 80% of recruitments, explains Eric Moyere, communication director of the Onnaing site. We target 3,500 permanent contracts and the transformation of almost all temporary contracts into long-term contracts. "

However, she may feel a little lonely this Yaris, almost more French than Japanese (it was, in 2012, the first car to receive the label "Origine France Garantie"). The PSA and Renault manufacturers have opted for the opposite choice to that of Toyota, deciding to relocate in 2020 their latest segment B thermal engine vehicles still assembled on French territory. In total, there are 290,000 city-style cars produced in French factories, which will go abroad, according to a count realized this summer by the IHS cabinet for the daily newspaper The echoes. That's 13% of the French production 2019.

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